Sunday, December 30, 2007

Meri Camera Ki Dastaan...

I am sure that, whether you are in India or abroad in any foreign land, you would have come across advertisement from MasterCard which centers on pricelessness. All the ADs concentrates on few priceless moments and they sell us our own deepest values by softly coupling those to selling commodities. For example, you can't experience the priceless value of having taken the most bright sun rays near North Pole, with your digi-cam. Often, it seems, the 'priceless, moment has a considerable price, something kind of an intangible asset. Why I am talking about a digi-cam here, well that's the crux of this post.

I had got a Canon S2 IS about two and half years back from Singapore, my first investment in the digi-cam series and that's when my love with digi-cam started. Prior to this, I used to dabble with my Nikon F65, the film camera and a Pentax click click one. Often I used the digi-cams, which my friends had. The Canon S2 IS was handy for me during my visit to various places and while traveling. Using this camera, I had captured many moments, but then suddenly when, this camera exhibited some signs of malfunctioning, I felt a bit uneasy.

Well, I agree after all it's a camera, a mechanical gadget and chances are high that it would demonstrate dysfunctional symptoms after regular usage. But then, kya kaare dil nahi manta, as it braced me in the snow, in the rain, in the windy nights, and during the gloomy days too. It was like the magical wand, like the kind that incites one to capture every possible shot, there's no seeing past the end of one's lens. When it lets up, the possibilities are endless. So I made all attempts to make sure that the camera was again back in form. The CCD of the camera used to go blank at regular intervals and the flash never got triggered when the light was dull.

I visited few sites online and was able to track the Canon Care Center, the authorized repairing station or shop where I was sure to get the best service or treatment for my ailed camera. The technicians at the center examined the camera and recommended that since the parts for repair were not available with them, they would send it to Canon's head office in India at Delhi. I had carried the necessary documents provided to me during the time of purchase and also the warranty card. The technician informed me that he would inform me after 2-3 weeks and on his confirmation call, I could come and collect my piece after repair.

Days passed by and suddenly one day when I was busy at my roozi rooti center, I got a call. It went like this.

'This is Mr.XYZ from Canon Care Center. Please refer to the invoice number ABC, I just want to confirm that since the parts are not available in the Canon's head office at Delhi, the company has asked us to replace the misfunction camera with a new model. It's a Canon S5 IS for you. Please come and collect the same from the shop.'

It took me a while to digest this, was I in my dreams or was it stark reality. Was I stargazing because I was offered a brand new camera of an upgraded model, even though I was outside the warranty period?

A couple of days later, after I had got the call I went to the store to collect my camera. I inquired the technician about the details of the case. That gentleman replied me that Canon officials gave instructions to deliver me a brand new camera as the components of Canon S2 IS were not available. I was both charged up and emotional at the same time. Charged up because, I got a new camera of better configuration and features and emotional as I was parting with my Canon S2 IS, as it couldn’t be cured of its ailments.

I am trying to perch my fingers over the buttons of my new camera but feel it would take a while by when my fingerbreadths would flow effortlessly over the new contours.

Keep reading and remain connected.

(If you didn't get the word, 'Dastaan' one of the words in the title of the post. Well 'Dastaan' is an Urdu word that means a tale or a fable. Also in 1972 a Hindi flick by the name 'Dastaan' was made by B. R. Chopra.)

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ek Jhakaas sa Argument...

Now, guess how a typical argument goes, there are two sides and each tries to convince or prove the other side, that it is correct. What goes on in the process is that each group has its own set of views gathered from various reservoirs, be it personal readings, eruditions from training, observations from outside world and a host of other sources.

But when it comes to a small baby, I am sure that they are not entrenched in panoramas and views of any format. For them, their expressions are like air or water, fluid and unstable in nature, just express and just keep on speaking till they merely wear themselves out or are exhausted through repetition, overuse, etc. That's fun, and often they end up asking some funny questions for which parents have to think for a while before offering a convincing answer.

I have a small cousin, well she is grown up now and is studying in standard two. A couple of years back, my uncle and aunt had a small family and friends get-together and party to mark their marriage anniversary. This smart toddler goes to her maa and asks, 'Why didn't you invite me for this warm event, every year, even though papa and you are married for close to seven years now?'

Fundu question, isn't it? Now check this video and see how the kid is engrossed in what it (using it, as I am not sure from the video snippet if it’s a wise he or a she) wants to say.

If you watch the video closely, the kid is keeping its focus on the other person and her behavior. Whenever the person is trying to pigeonhole the kid into some other discussion, it simply side-steps her comments and then redirects its own depot of energy back upon her, in the most free-flowing way. This is sooper yummy, verbal martial arts. Never guard against any of the comments, simply redirect and return the inputs back to the person and this kid is definitely a mavin in this arena.

Btw, can someone guess which language was that? It's Turkish, as I could make this from one of the comments on a Youtube page.

Lol this is my own language Turkish.. hooray for Turkey
This woman has a tv show for little kids and also is an actress and plays in a child serie. lol that baby is adorable!
they are arguing about the channel little girl wants,
about which baby channel she wants to watch on the digiturk tv box. the whole advertisement is about the digiturk tv box thing.
digiturk channels blabla..

Keep reading and remain connected.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas...

Today Bangalore is a home to varied cultures, linguistic and regional backgrounds and with each festive season the city bounces back with zestfulness. The warm festive season of Christmas is celebrated by one and all in their own ways, not just the Christians for that matter. With the temperature falling and the city experiencing one of the coldest winters in recent days, its nice to see people with sweaters, jackets, pullovers, with ladies in their shawls, though the cold is not that intense as it is in Northern India or aboard that I have sensed.



For some Christmas means lots of shopping, for few it's just window shopping and then a cozy dinner, for few others it's a sip of coffee in the new high-toned and elegant coffee shop. There is brightness and luminance in the air and one can find people returning home with the bagfuls of goodies and plum cakes from the nearby store or getting ingredients to prepare the traditional Christmas cake at home.



IMG_0010 In the traffic junctions one can find, small kids embroiling the bikers and those in cars to buy the Santa caps. This is one sight which I dislike intensely but come to think of it, it's all about survival. Most of these kids try to utilize, the festive season to make some extra bucks, so that they can have an extra share of piece meal.

The city is bedecked in colorful lights and sparkling Christmas trees. Santa is seen in departmental stores to entertain kid customers. Churches are decorated with poinsettias and lit with candles and lichi lights for Christmas Eve service. For a change, the ears are not tuned to the cronks and irritating honks from a traffic signal. One can see caroling processions on the busy streets and thoroughfares with the mild cold and buzzing wintry night, soothing the mind and heart of every passer-by.


IMG_0025I was most amazed by the buoyancy, the delicacy and the irrepressible liveliness and good spirit that rule the atmosphere. Everything appears simple, comforting and for a while, it appears there is something in the air that quickly put the darn things up.

I got this short message from Anou and want to share with piece with you all. It goes like this.

This Christmas...
On this Christmas…Pray,
To your enemy, forgiveness
To an opponent, tolerance
To a friend, your heart
To a customer, service
To all, charity
To every child, a good example
To yourself, respect.


Merry Christmas wishes to you.

Keep reading and remain connected.

(Took these pics, in the streets of the city, where I reside.)

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tough one...

A tough nut to crack, a baffling problem indeed..huh.

Keep reading and remain connected.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

A Rare School Shooting...

Since the time, you and I were kids, we have always considered school as a center of knowledge, a place of learning prefatorial and rudimentary manners of any genteel society. Add to this, it is a place that is always marked by childish mischief and gumptious cacophonies of students as they run aimlessly looking for their friends.

But this air of ingenuousness was punctured last week in one of most unimaginable act of juvenile delinquency. In what could be mentioned as one of the worst nightmares that any parent could think of, in a swish, upscale private school, 'The Euro International School' in Gurgaon, one of India's flourishing outsourcing hubs on the outskirts of Delhi, a murder happened in the the broad day light.

Abhishek Tyagi, a VIII class student of a school in Gurgaon, was shot dead by two of his classmates after school hours within the school premises. The reason was a simmering feud among Abhishek and two other students, a couple of days back and the end result of that disagreement was this shootout.

When one reads this news, the first thing in the morning on the breakfast table, it sends a chill down the spine. The most disturbing element being the type of violence happening in schools among the young ones. Bloodstains on the corridors of schools, were incidents that were typical to the western world but now it has happened in India. It abruptly throws before us, a bagful of questions. We all know that change is generally incremental in nature but sometimes things change so fast that it makes us think. What changed in the society that enabled these students to act and behave in a manner that was totally unexpected?

A simple evaluation of this incident tells that both the accused boys involved in the shooting hail from upper middle class families whose fathers dealt with the complex world of real estate business. The world real estate is tinctured with its own set of conventions, the more one enters into the intricacies of this business, the more insecure and worn-out life becomes. In India, ten years ago, very few people had access to guns for personal protection because of the difficult gun license policies. Times have changed now, with oodles of disposal income and with an intention of personal protection, the nouveau rich business men can easily own a gun.
'He took out his father's revolver from the TV trolley and smuggled it to the school concealed in his socks. He then hid the gun in the bathroom waiting for the school to get over and then fired at Abhishek,' said Mahender Pal Singh, Police Commissioner, Gurgaon.

What is really disturbing in this episode is that, the father of one of the accused leaves the revolver in the TV trolley as if it's a toy or a remote control that can be picked up and used by anyone. The father was definitely aware of his negligence in handling the firearm; else he would not have been absconding after the gruesome incident, only to have surrendered four days later.

Many people commented that, we Indians are slowly importing these kinds of mannerisms from the western world. Watching movies packaged with violent scenes and enjoying virtual games on the computer or the internet are often cited as reasons that induce rashness and recklessness in a child’s behavior. I don't buy and accept this accusation or statement in totality. It's not that I am supporting the West, but let's not get into the blame games when there are certain tangible fractures in the new Indian socio-eco system, especially in the cities and metropolis. I believe that that learning the right values is not a matter of geography but what we see around us and the way we are nurtured to handle things and situations.

The present day India is swamped by crass consumerism and rat race for acquisition of commodities of materialistic value. Many people are part of this never ending marathon, which leaves them with little energy and time at the end of the day for their children. At the growing age, children are like flexible clay, so their whippy minds can be modeled with ease. In my view, which ever part of the world one goes, children are always children; they are reflections of societal and parental values. A simple nourishing value system and strong parental involvement in this changing world are something those that are needed.

Do you feel that children would enjoy their school life under the surveillance of CCTV and metal detectors? One of my friends, Deepti poses many such questions in her post here.
The school has cameras fitted in and now the parents are demanding metal detectors. Whats happening in our schools? Where is all this anger coming from? Is it time for parents to think of home schooling? Or turn schools into prisons?

How can we protect our children from their own classmates?
Keep reading and remain connected.

(These views are mine and are not quoted at any individual.)

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Monday, December 10, 2007

A Simple Click...

Sometimes living in a city is like operating a machine, that's become comfortable, functional and yet a little cynical at times. And in the midst of this routine life, all of us come across some moments that are a little less meaningful and a little more expensive every year. I sternly believe that the finer points of life comes to us when we are least expecting them.

A couple of days back, a couple of my friends rushed to a restaurant for an unplanned late dinner. We were sitting in the open around ten at night, as the eating place lime-washed to a lambent white and planted firmly on a cover of neatly manicured grass was packed with guests. The moon dangled in the night sky, tossing among the silent clouds. The mild cold wind whistled and it felt vaporific to sit there with hot soups in front of us. Add to this was a wide assortment of desi and western cuisine.

As we were having food and chattering among ourselves, my deemag ka LCD suddenly exposed a hole in my vision. The cushy music in the background and the chillness of the night totted to the appeals of the senses, something called imagery. I found a threesome in a nearby camp in reverie over a glass of wine and lost in a deep discussion. The click of my shutter apparently caught on to it, or maybe the wind carried that to me.

Finer points, as I say again comes when meaningless appearances and disappearances tickle us when we least expect them...Baas aapna camera ready rakho and abide by temporal's words of wisdom on wineism.

Keep reading and remain connected.

(This pic was taken in a restaurant when I was experimenting with my friend's camera.)

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The Western Music Festival, Bangalore...

The English daily, Deccan Herald is organizing the Western Music Festival between 12th and 15th December 2007 at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Bangalore for music aficionados. The timings of the event will be from 6.30p.m to 9.00p.m. A wide variety of musical performances are in the schedule like:

Choral Music
Rhythm and blues
Cappella Music
Solo / Duet / Trio / Quartet with live accompaniment
Retro Music
Broadway / Hollywood

More details are here.

So be there and enjoy maddi.

Keep reading and remain connected.

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